Building blocks in place for 2023 - Foster

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In the first 70 minutes, Foster said the All Blacks played the type of rugby they wanted to play more often.

They also put the physical contest, and their failure to secure the advantage line when they lost to England in the 2019 World Cup semifinal, behind them.

"We put ourselves into a position where we should have been a little bit better but credit to England the way they came back. That [yellow] card galvanized them and their performance in the last 10 is worthy of a lot of credit."

He was proud of large parts of the game because they demonstrated the side's progress during the year.

"We'll certainly be more disappointed than them.

We came and played some great rugby. We should have walked away with a win, and we didn't get it in the last 10.

"You can tell from us we're a little bit flat still, but I loved the way we played for large parts of that game. It showed some things where we've been making good gains.

"I think we're moving well, but it shows we're not quite there yet. And, in some ways, it's not a bad spot to be 8-10 months out from a pretty big tournament."

Foster was surprised England opted to kick the ball out at the end rather than look for another try, but he said perhaps they felt they had done enough to come from 6-25 down and were happy to take the draw.

Trying to wind the clock down by keeping the ball tight was not an option nowadays because that area of the game was so heavily policed and was likely to result in a penalty conceded.

He had been happy with much of the decision-making by the side during the game.

Foster explained that replacement halfback TJ Perenara's kick over the pack that resulted in the final England try, had been called by No8 Ardie Savea. But, when Perenara kicked the ball, Savea found he was a metre in front of him and, therefore, unable to chase it, and the lack of chasers was a reason for that.

"We've climbed through a bit of adversity. We started the Rugby Championship slowly, we made a lot of changes and, we climbed well through the latter part of that tournament.

"We came here with a desire to play Wales, Scotland, England, three different types of teams, and we haven't had a clean sweep of the lot in the last seven or eight years, and we also wanted to try our solutions for some of the defensive systems up here.

"We're really pleased with a lot of the gains.

"You saw a strong scrum tonight, you saw a lineout maul that was strong, we saw a kick-and-carry game that had a bit of adventure to it, and we didn't get dominated on the gain line.

"What we did learn is we've got a little to learn about the last 10 minutes, and closing out a big Test like that because it was a game I felt we should have had better control of in that last part.

"So, there were two or three really good lessons, and probably one we'll give ourselves an upper cut for."

Captain Sam Whitelock said it was not nice giving up such a lead, especially when leaking defensively through the middle and around the edges.

The players didn't stop trying, but they would have to pull it apart and see why the last 10 minutes happened as they did and come up with solutions.


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